Literary Criticism And Friendship Not Mutually Inclusive
Internet has changed many things in our life and society. Especially with the advent of social sites and blogs, those who had no scope of publishing their writings, have suddenly gotten a medium of immense possibilities to publish their own writings whenever they wish. You don’t have to wait and go on counting the number of days hoping your writings will be published at last. You don’t have to depend on the editors for publishing your writings. Now social sites have provided you that power, which you can use to publish your own writings whenever you wish. Not only that, you’ll get instant feedbacks of your writings from your virtual audience. Unlike publishing in print medium, publishing in social sites gives you a golden opportunity to see how people are reacting with your writings. So, anyone who wish to be a writer or poet can flourish as a writer or poet through this new medium over the internet. Moreover, you can publish your own book of writings or poetry online, spending your own money. Nowadays this self-publishing tools have enabled many to be self-published writers or poet.
Every day we are writing poems, publishing them online. Getting instant feedbacks in the form of like and comments, which boosts our confidence as a writer or poet immensely. We are all in the same boat together. We like each other’s poems but never try to dive deep into the writings of our friends. Always applause each other as a great writer or poet. Never ever spend much time with each other’s writings to evaluate the literary merit of the writings properly. Why we do so? We do so because we always like to be mutually applauded. We never like to be criticized by others. Nor even by our friends, especially by the virtual friends. So, always we want to be praised as a great writer or poet. We feel happy whenever we get positive remarks from our audiences. Now if someone asks us, what sorts of comments do you consider positive or negative? We all know our answers in our inner soul. We only consider a comment positive which praises our writings. We never consider a comment positive which evaluates our poems or writings on its literary merit and shows us what are the sort comings in our writings. Not only that, we are so confident of our literary brilliance and so proud of our own literary achievements that we cannot consider a true critic as a true friend. In today’s world of power and greed, we have forgot about the basic conditions of friendship. Especially in this realm of virtual friendship. Everybody is accustomed to be praised unconditionally as a poet or writer by the virtual friends. Whenever anyone tries to show someone where and how the literary merit of the writings is falling short of the benchmark, the friendship gets jolted.
Yes, it is most unfortunate. And it is really the unfortunate story of this virtual world. Every one of us are well aware of this. That is the main reason for which none actually dares to criticize properly a piece of literary writing. Nobody likes to lose a friend, so everybody plays safe by congratulating others for their poems or writings.
These are the general features of virtual publications and friendship. Now if we concentrate only over poetry as a literary form, we may discover some new elements out of it. Most of us are publishing poems over the net. If we research further, we’ll see most of us are writing poems only after the invent of internet or after the advent of social sites where one can publish his or her poems instantly without any direct or indirect intervention of editors. This feature has established a general consensus on writing of poetry. We think whenever our poems are getting likes and positive remarks from most of our friends, our poems are literally brilliant. This gives us immense pleasure and satisfies our self-ego to the extent of self-pride. Unfortunately, it also blindfolds us from the actual realities.
One of the greatest poets ever, T.S Eliot has told us almost a century before that, “Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things.” Actually, those who have started writing poetry only after the advent of social sites, have no or little schooling on literature. They are writing mostly out of their love to express their own feelings and emotions, love and passions in words and stanzas. So, their writings are mostly the extensions of their emotions and their individual personalities. Unfortunately, they and even their readers in general remain un aware that poetry is not at all the extension of the poet’s own personality. A poem has nothing to do with the personalized emotional expressions of poet’s own feelings even if how much passionate that might be.
As a poet, or whenever one writes a poem should be aware of these basic features about poetry in general propagated by one of the best ever poetical mind. Yes, I would never deny that, it is much easier to criticize than to put on paper a piece of pure poetry. Again. I know how difficult it is to achieve this level to escape from personal emotions and own’s own personality to embark upon writing pure poem. Yes, it is too difficult a venture to try even for any general lover of poetry. It requires years of exercises studies and even meditations. Moreover, this is not possible for everyone who likes to write poems or even wish to become a poet.
To become a poet, one also has to master himself or herself on the language of poetry. It is really a difficult proposition for the general public. One can become a true critic of literature or poetry without even mastering on the language of poetry. But it is quite impossible to write a piece of poetry without having achieved that poetical language skill. If we go on further with our research on the present poetical scenario of this virtual world of self-publishing, we’ll find an interesting twist. There are very few poets who realize the importance of escaping from emotions and personality in writing poems. Yet not all of them have the essential skills of poetical language. Again, we can find number of poets with the excellent language skills of poetical expressions but unfortunately without any idea of poetry itself. Usually these poets believe in spontaneous expressions of personal emotions in poetry. If one reads their poetry intensely, one would certainly be really amazed with the power of their writing skills, the depth of their knowledge of the language itself. But with utter astonishment one would find the hollowness of their poetical visions. A poet has to match both parameters to become really a poet, or to even write a pure piece of poetry,
The greatest poet of Bengal Rabindranath Tagor once told Kazi Nazrul Islam the poet writer novelist singer composer musician and also freedom fighter that, unnecessarily Nazrul was saving his beard with a sword. Tagore did understand quite rightly that Nazrul was misusing his God-given skill of poetical language in his poetry itself, as his poetry has never escaped from his own emotional expressions and his own personality.
Now coming back to our starting point, if we do advise the same to any of our contemporary poets, he or she may consider that we are trespassing his or her own territory of liberty. It is his or her fundamental rights to interpret poetry or literature according personal likes and dislikes. Quite so. No one would argue with that logic. But whenever as a true friend virtual or not, one tries to help others, we should at least acknowledge their concern both as a lover of literature and friendship. Most unfortunately this virtual world is not yet matured enough to realize all these facts and realities of pure literature, poetry and friendship.
25th JUNE’ 2020
Copyrights Reserved By Poet NilavroNill